Background: Various reports have suggested that epidemiological patterns of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are changing in high-income countries, but the evidence to support this is often indirect and only a few longitudinal studies exist. We aimed to explore epidemiological patterns of TBI in Belgium over a 10-year period. Methods: A retrospective analysis of Minimum Hospital Data provided by Statistics Belgium was performed for the period 2003-2012. ICD-9 classification was used to identify TBI and to differentiate subtypes. The annual incidence of hospital admissions and in-hospital mortality rates were calculated and further differentiated for age, gender and cause of injury. Results: The age-adjusted incidence of hospital admissions decreased by 3.6% per year. An increase in the number of elderly patients with TBI and a decrease in the younger age groups were found. Falls now represent the main cause of TBI. A mortality rate of 6.5 per 100,000 population per year was found and did not change significantly over time. Conclusions: This longitudinal study confirms that epidemiological patterns in TBI are changing: overall incidence is steadily decreasing, but in elderly patients, the incidence is increasing. Falls are the leading cause, occurring most frequently in elderly patients. These changes are relevant for prevention.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Belgium, Epidemiology, Head injury, Incidence, Longitudinal study, Mortality, Traumatic brain injury
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1159/000471877, hdl.handle.net/1765/99738
Journal Neuroepidemiology
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/602150 - Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in TBI (CENTER-TBI)
Citation
Peeters, W, Majdan, M, Brazinova, A, Nieboer, D, & Maas, A.I.R. (2017). Changing Epidemiological Patterns in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Longitudinal Hospital-Based Study in Belgium. Neuroepidemiology, 48(1-2), 63–70. doi:10.1159/000471877